Staff, students and members of the Flinders community recently attended a panel event to celebrate International Girls in ICT Day at Matthew Flinders Anglican College, aimed at encouraging more girls and young women to explore careers pathways in technology.
Since its inception, over 377,000 girls and young women have taken part in more than 11,400 celebrations of International Girls in ICT Day in 171 countries worldwide.
The College’s International Girls in ICT panel event hoped to expand students’ knowledge of, and connection with, the professional world by hearing honest reflections from leaders in their chosen fields.
Guest speakers included QUT Budding Entrepreneur scholarship recipient, Sarah Eisenmenger; Queensland Young Achiever of the Year award winner, Anja Christoffersen; and Flinders IT Support Officer, Kelly Hodsdon.
Flinders’ Head of Learning Futures in the Secondary School, Mr Patrick Morrow said the panel event was an opportunity for students to expand their knowledge of the career paths they can take beyond graduation.
“Our focus for the event was to invite guest speakers with diverse experiences in the field of technology to share their journey with students,” Patrick said.
“The workforce is changing at a rapid rate and events like these are important in preparing our students for careers of the future.”
Guest speaker Anja Christoffersen spoke to the students about experience consulting, co-leading and engaging in projects across health, government, research, corporate and not-for-profit sectors.
Students enjoyed hearing how Anja founded Champion Health Agency at 22 years old - a world-first talent agency for lived experience, representing people with disabilities, chronic illness and carers.
Anja shared with students the importance of “failing fast and failing often”.
“The future of innovation and technology is in learning how to fail and using this to propel yourself, your business and your career forward,” Anja said.
The panel event was co-led by founder of Zest Robotics, Sarah Eisenmenger.
Designed to inspire girls and young women to pursue STEM-related pathways, ZEST Robotics delivers workshops that aim to equip individuals with the knowledge, skills and confidence that tomorrow’s leaders, engineers and scientists need.
Sarah shared with students her experiences as a young woman in STEM and her drive to reaching parity of representation.
“As part of ZEST Robotics, I wanted to create a safe space where students could explore STEM without gender bias,” Sarah said.
As an entrepreneur, Sarah spoke to the ways in which STEM literacy is becoming an essential part of today’s business environment.
“You can have all the great ideas in the world but if you cannot communicate them, nobody will hear them,” Sarah said.
“Being able to articulate your ideas and putting plans into action is the first step toward success.”
The panel was joined by Flinders IT Support Officer, Kelly Hodsdon, who shared her experience in the field of technology and encouraged students to “do what you enjoy”.
“When you're pursuing any career, but especially one in technology, it is important to find something that you’re interested in and enjoy doing,” Kelly said.
The panel event was supported by the Australian Computer Society (ACS).
To learn more about learning at Flinders, visit the website: https://www.mfac.edu.au/learning/